Neil Featherby: Thank you and good luck in retirement, Tim Sheppard
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2013
If a pair of running shoes are a runner's best friend, then at some point you can bet that a physio or sports therapist will become one too.
We are lucky to have so many top-class therapists of one kind or another here in Norfolk, but one such stand-out person is Tim Sheppard.
Just about everyone on the local sports scene knows Tim and whether it be a sports person or indeed another medical professional, I am pretty sure they all look up to him with great respect in one way or another.
He boasts 20 plus years as the head physiotherapist at Norwich City FC, followed by going into private practice at the Global Clinic for almost the same time since leaving the club.
Tim was held in such high regard with everyone at the football club and so much so that when he did move on he was rewarded with a testimonial game which was played in front of a packed house against Celtic. He was also entered into the Norwich City Hall of fame amongst so many footballing greats who have all played with great distinction for the Canaries over the years.
The first time I saw a physiotherapist for a running related issue goes back exactly 40 years when seeing another previous City physio in Jeff Granger. Jeff used to treat my late brother Craig for all his speedway injuries so it made sense for me to seek him out too.
However, and having been offered a position at Bupa as a Sports Consultant in 1989, that is where I first met up with Tim who was already doing some work himself at the Sports/medical centre.
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Apart from helping to keep my body going to be able to churn 100 plus miles each week, it was through Tim, that I was given the opportunity to work with the Norwich City first team when helping with pre-season training.
I was in my element especially as I was dictating the running sessions whilst also taking part in them myself. Many of the players became really good friends of mine too for which I am still in contact with several of them to this day.
Tim retires from practice as of the end of this week for which he has asked me to give it a mention in my column to let other runners know.
I did actually say to him that I am sure that there will be further and more in-depth features about him in the EDP as well as all other sections of the local media, but at the same time I cannot think of anyone better to write about this week even if he did call me a freak back in the day.
Coming from him, I took that as a great compliment. Thanks Tim for all your help and support over the years and I sincerely do wish you all the very best in your retirement.